PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (AP) — A defiant Jack Warner is predicting a lengthy legal battle to extradite him from Trinidad and Tobago to the U.S. to charges in the FIFA corruption case.
Warner, a former FIFA vice and member of Parliament in his homeland, said Wednesday that he intends to resist extradition at a hearing scheduled for July 9. He faces charges that include racketeering and money-laundering. Authorities earlier confiscated his passport, fearing he might flee.
"After presenting my case in court, let the judge decide," he told supporters from his political party at a gathering late Wednesday. "If he says I should go I will go. If he says I should stay, I will stay. But it is going to be a long hot summer."
He is accused of taking payments totaling $10 million sent by a high-ranking FIFA official to give South Africa the right to host the 2010 World Cup over Morocco. Warner left FIFA in 2011 and has denied wrongdoing.
"I left FIFA four years ago," he told supporters. "I am in no way concerned about the FIFA scandal. I am in no way concerned about the U.S. application for my extradition. That doesn't bother me."
Warner also shot back at British comedian John Oliver, who had bought time on Trinidadian television urging him to follow through on his vow to reveal secrets about FIFA.
"I don't need any advice from any comedian fool who doesn't know anything about this country ... to tell me what files to release or not to release," Warner said in a video released by his party. "That is none of his business. I take no instructions from him."
At one point in the nearly three-minute video it is hard to hear Warner because of somber background music that reaches a crescendo toward the end.
Warner can appeal any extradition order and legal experts in the Caribbean nation have said he could draw out the process for more than three years.